51

Yes. (Photo by James Gathany, Public Health Image Library (PHIL), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) But it could be worse. Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can avoid filling up on fluid and get more nutrients out of their meal But some species of mosquito also do what is called preurination — they excrete drops ...


35

Leaving aside the fact that termite CO2 production is on few, if any, secondary school syllabuses, its more complicated than that. Termites are not burning fossil fuels. The carbon they produce comes from decomposing wood. This carbon came from the atmosphere, and as the wood rots this carbon will wind up back in the atmosphere whether termites eat it or ...


32

There is no suggestion from the original photographers that spiders place water droplets on their heads. Web pages that re-post these photos don't have any references to support the notion. There are at least two photographers who stage these photographs. Consider Dmitriy Yoav Reinshtein whose gallery includes mantis with water droplet "hat" housefly ...


31

Cockroaches are a potential risk because they act as a vector for a number of diseases, bacteria, and other pathogens: Cockroaches are arthropod transmitters of disease, acting both as mechanical vectors and as reservoirs of pathogenic agents. It has been shown that cockroaches harbor and transmit, both in nature and under experimental conditions, about ...


21

Vacuum Cleaner Mortality Can a UK house spider survive being vacuumed up? No.† The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases published a study entitled "Evaluation of the efficacy of vacuum cleaners for the integrated control of brown spider Loxosceles intermedia" The results include A total of 60 male, 60 female, 60 young ...


14

As people have commented, NASA isn't particularly associated with entomologists, so that seems to be a bit of a red herring and unnecessary appeal to authority. So what if NASA is confused by these bugs? Would it matter if your local mechanic was confused by these bugs? Or a Brain Surgeon? As was also commented, these species have been identified as Homaemus ...


13

Aspartame-based Sweetener as a Strong Ant Poison: Falsifying an Urban Legend? This scientific article suggests that it is a hoax, at least for aspartane. Ants are not attracted to it, and when forced to eat the mortality is not significantly different from the control group.


12

Yes, maggots can infest the digestive tract of humans. I was able to find a number of articles describing this condition: Gastrointestinal Myiasis by Larvae of Sarcophaga sp. and Oestrus sp. in Egypt: Report of Cases, and Endoscopical and Morphological Studies - Korean Journal of Parasitology Four cases of gastric or intestinal myiasis are reported. The ...


12

Q Does switching the lights off help avoiding mosquitoes? In short: "yes", but with so much caveats that ultimately the needed qualifier is "but it's not effective". The caveats are: not all species at all stages of life-cycle. Even within the same species some inconsistent behaviours regarding light seeking or avoidance have been described. Some are ...


9

There is a first-person account from 1976, from Dr. Fred A. Urquhart, part of a small team that found the wintering site of the Monarch butterflies after many years searching. While we stared in wonder, a pine branch three inches thick broke under its burden of languid butterflies and crashed to earth, spilling its living cargo. Source: National ...


9

Looking around on the internet, the claim is actually that the rhinoceros beetle can carry 850 times its own weight, not just 100 times its own weight. The type of rhinoceros beetle in question is the "Hercules beetle" (Dynastes hercules) Adults of some species can lift objects 850 times their weight! That would be equivalent to a human lifting 9 fully ...


8

No, an earlier list was published by Margot Anne-Stephanie Vigeant as author of the article Things to Stress Over in Cornell Engineer April 1992, volume 56, number 2, pages 24 and 25, (alternative link to full text): My first topic for this issue is worries. I've decided that there are just too many well adjusted, un-paranoid people in this school (NOT), ...


7

There is at least one citation reporting death in PubMed.1 I was not able to load the article, but having gone trough related literature on tarantula bites, it seems that a bite often causes localized necrotic ulcers,2 which, although not usually lethal, could lead to infection, gangrene, and death if left untreated. Some quick digging through newspaper ...


6

YES it's unhealthy to live with cockroaches. About cockroaches Cockroach disease is something that many people are worried about when they see a cockroach in their home. Cockroaches are known to carry disease because they can live on just about anything, meaning they often live on unsanitary substances. Cockroaches are potential carriers of ...


6

Probably not. There doesn't appear to be any evidence of the exploding stomach phenomenon. And most evidence to be found points in the opposite direction. Seeds are a natural food source. This is a study of the diet of one type of Ant in Oklahoma. And seeds are listed as an important dietary item. http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/11737 At grassland and ...


6

This may be a bastardization rumor referencing "Chinese Chalk" (or "Miraculous Chalk"), special insecticide-laced chalk which can be used to block the paths of insects. I have heard of overseas restaurants using this chalk to draw lines on the legs of tables, preventing bugs from climbing up the table legs. It is a banned substance in the United States due ...


5

An article recently published by the BBC debunks this myth: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29281253 This claim was originally made by Harvard University professor Edward O Wilson, and the German biologist Bert Hoelldobler, in their 1994 book Journey To The Ants. They based their estimate on an earlier one by British entomologist C B Williams, who once ...


5

The the factors that determine nest site location (for honey bees these are well understood, less so for wasps, though things like protection, height off ground, etc. clearly play a part) are the primary reason wasp colonies appear in the same sites year after year. On shorter time scales (for example right after removing a nest) navigational cause will ...


5

Nope. If insects ran rampant and ate everything, we could just eat them. Could Less Meat Mean More Food? “Nutritionally, it is excellent food,” says Arnold van Huis, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. “It’s the same or even better than conventional meat, fish, or poultry.” Just 100 grams of caterpillars can provide all of an adult’...


5

It's hard to find reputable sources on this issue, but let me present the two different takes on it that I found. According to this article: Cockroaches, apparently, have bulky bodies (composing of 3 heavy body segments) which are only supported by 6 long thin legs, As they die, they lose muscle-control causing the leg muscles to contract. As a ...


5

This link has reviewed several papers related to this technique , while they seem to agree that these traps do attract the mosquitos , but question the effectiveness in terms of the key outcome i.e reduction in mosquito biting rates, apparently what little evidnece exists points that there is no reduction in mosquito bites: Results of studies that are ...


5

It seems that Fabre's original claim has been greatly exaggerated by subsequent writers, and that the wasps are not nearly as stereotyped as those subsequent authors have claimed; Fabre's own description noted that not all wasps of the species showed this rigid behavior, and later studies have not supported it. The Sphex story is an anecdote about a ...


4

It appears to have been discovered by a team including members from the sugar industry. They were looking for ways to use sucrose as a chemical intermediate. Most synthetic processes involve multiple steps. I have not found what (if any) final product was in mind. I can find no evidence that any of the participants were engaged in insecticide research. I ...


4

Youtuber Lemmino actually located the only possible magazine that matched the description and got a copy of the article sent to him and translated. It contained nothing relevant to the spider story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjlKIjLWq-Y [Summary of video: youtuber purchases a hardcopy of the 1954 book Insect Fact and Folklore by Lucy W. Clausen, which ...


4

It looks like there is some basis to this: Attractiveness of Certain Popular Food Products to the German Cockroach, Blattella germanica, Adults under Field Conditions: Oily Products: The data summarized in Table (5) indicated that peanut butter was the most accepted product for both sexes and significantly attracted more insects (12.0 and 9.5 ...


3

They definitely repel fungus gnats. Do they repel other bugs? I have no idea. Sarah Zielinski, in an article on the Smithsonian magazine website, provides a simple summary of the research. Cloyd RA, Marley KA, Larson RA, and Arieli B describe the details in a free 2010 journal article published by the American Society for Horticultural Science. The ...


3

In Neurobiology of Chemical Communication., Chapter 5 - Chemical Communication in the Honey Bee Society, Section 5.1.2.5 Defensive Behavior: Alarm Pheromones details how trigger pheromones are released with the extrusion of the stinger whether or not an actual stinging has taken place. So, an angry bee is a signaling bee. Also, it seems a fair assumption ...


3

Two points: The publication of The Pedant's Revolt by Andrea Barham took place after the original Snopes article, not before. The first edition of the book was in 2005. The Snopes article first appeared before then--I haven't found the original article, but there are forum comments from 2002 and 2004 which refer to it. So it was the book that referenced ...


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